WCWS roundup: Jocelyn Erickson’s 4 RBIs help Florida beat Alabama

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Jocelyn Erickson went 2-for-3 with four RBIs, blasting a three-run home run in the sixth inning, to lift Florida to a 6-4 victory over Alabama on Sunday in an elimination game in the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.

The Gators (53-14) will take on second-seeded Oklahoma in the WCWS semifinals, which begin Monday morning. Florida would need to beat the Sooners twice to advance to the championship series. The Crimson Tide finished their season with a 39-20 record.

Erickson was a member of Oklahoma’s WCWS title team last season before transferring to Florida.

Keagan Rothrock (32-8) went the distance for Florida, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits in her seven innings. She walked one and struck out five. Two of the runs Rothrock yielded came in the sixth, but Alabama’s comeback bid came up short.

Marlie Giles went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI for the Tide. Alabama starter Kayla Beaver went four innings, giving up two runs and six hits to go along with one walk and zero strikeouts. Jocelyn Briski (10-6) took the loss after giving up Reagan Walsh’s RBI single in the fifth, which snapped a 2-2 tie.

Stanford 3, UCLA 1

NiJaree Canady struck out eight in going the distance as the Cardinal knocked off the Bruins in an elimination game.

Stanford (50-16) advances to face Texas on Monday in the semifinals. The Cardinal would need to beat the Longhorns twice in back-to-back games to advance to the championship series.

Texas beat Stanford 4-0 in Thursday’s opening round. UCLA’s season ends 43-12 after being held to just one run over back-to-back losses.

Canady, the national player of the year, has pitched all 19 innings for the Cardinal in the WCWS. She got off to a hot start, striking out Bruins’ star Maya Brady looking to begin the game. Canady struck out Brady three times, Brady’s second consecutive game with three strikeouts after just one pitcher in the regular season — Canady — struck her out twice in a game.

Canady retired 12 consecutive batters before hitting Savannah Pola with two outs in the seventh. Thessa Malau’ulu singled after the hit batter to bring the go-ahead run to the plate, but Canady got Ramsey Suarez to ground out to end the game.

UCLA struck first when Megan Grant homered to lead off the second.

Stanford grabbed the lead in the third. Taryn Kern’s RBI double tied the score and, two batters later, Ava Gall delivered a run-scoring single.

Stanford added an insurance run in the fifth.